The ’60s pop-influenced four-piece Space Raft aimed its telescope toward the stars on 2014’s sci-fi-themed debut, but follow-up Rubicon finds the galactic travelers dealing with problems of a human nature. “Never coming back again/ We ain’t going home,” singer/guitarist Jordan Davis surrenders on opener “Borrowed Time,” a song as much about getting stranded on Earth as it is about confronting mortality. Much of the Big Star influences have been thrown out the proverbial air lock, as the band has sharpened a harsher rock edge with its latest work.
“Red Arrow” ➞ Shredding guitars and howling vocals help this protest song about the Dontre Hamilton shooting.
“Vacation” ➞ A free-falling slow jam about taking that final ride to the afterlife.
“Bitter Cup” ➞ A magnetic cautionary tale, in the style of blues rock, on the ill effects of alcoholism.